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Hurting in Hope 2014

Hurting in Hope 2014

Complete Free Audio Book on YouTube

  • Read a Sample Chapter
    Lightning scribbled across a darkened, rugged terrain, momentarily sketching the frowning skyline of the Gouwsberg mountains rising beyond a four-strand barbed-wire fence and a stretch of thorny bushveld to my Left. Fifty-year-old Bluegum trees strained and flexed, against an aggressive blast that had charged in from the North, determined, it seemed, to uproot them. Before my numbed eyes, leaves and plant debris swept and churned, mingled with oversized raindrops that strove in vain through the gale to strike the earth. The gentle glow emitting from the screen of my well-used Blackberry Torch illuminated a small patch around me as I sat in vast blackness. I stared at the mobile phone in my Left hand, and at the familiar number I was preparing to dial. With my right hand on the steering wheel, I could hardly hear the hum of the engine as it twisted the wheels slowly forward over a rocky road. I tightened my lips, as if it would compose me; this was the hardest call I would ever make. How could I do it? Yet how could I not?

    Chyreece, my sixteen-year-old daughter was still at home with Hope, her younger sister, not knowing at what hour of the night I would return from the hospital with their mom. She had known that her mom had not looked well as I had left the house earlier in a hurry, but certainly, the words I was about to utter, were the worst she could expect to hear.

    Still playing before my mind’s eye was the scene that had unfolded not even ten minutes previously. As Charleen had sat down in the passenger seat of our red ’97 Toyota Camry, Chyreece had followed her closely and had bent down to hug her mom and kiss her goodbye. I had departed with such haste that I had not even seen my sister, Jean, running with all her might behind me in the darkness to open the gates at the farm entrance for me so that I wouldn’t have to slow down. She was left far behind in a cloud of dust. Such was the urgency and chaos of that night.

    With my thumb, I eventually touched the screen to dial Chyreece’s number and was soon met with the purr-purr of a ring-tone. Moments crashed by as I waited for her voice to answer as I cleared my throat and tried to compose myself so that I could speak when she answered. Far too quickly, as if she had been anticipating the call, her melodic voice fell like music upon my cowering ear. So much like her sunny mom. I clenched my teeth in grief, swishing my head from side to side, as if I could shake this whole reality away.

    “Hello Dad!” I heard her smile in her relentlessly cheerful and trusting way.
    “Hello my sweet Reecie.” I said, not able to even finish saying her name before I was choked with emotion. She waited patiently as I breathed heavily through my tears, trying hard to form a sentence. “Reecie” I finally sobbed, “I have some very sad news for you.”
    “Yes Dad?” she replied meekly, seemingly summoning enough strength to hear the devastating news that hung poised to crash down upon her. In my mind’s eye I could see her dear form, dreading my words.
    “Its very sad Reecie,” I said, trying as hard as I could to prepare her for the shock and cushion the blow.
    “Yes?” she responded in a tiny, almost inaudible voice. She was trembling, I could tell.
    “I’m so sorry Reecie, Mom has died. I’m so sorry!”

    Never, with greater anguish, have I ever uttered a sentence in my life. Together we wept through a silence too deep for the jangling of noisy words. The crashing thunder, jagged lightning, and the mayhem of the breaking storm well pictured the havoc in my heart as I pressed the phone to my wretched ear, as if holding tightly to my dear daughter.

    “Are you alright Reecie?” I eventually reached out from an aching heart, longing somehow take away the pain I had inflicted upon her through my words and this brutal reality that would undoubtedly alter the course of her life.
    Her voice returned, controlled, yet under the strain of powerful emotions that assailed her heart, “Yes Dad.” she responded breathlessly.

    Oh how my heart broke for our daughters. Oh how it pained me to break that news to Chyreece in that way; over the phone, and under such chaotic circumstances. Yet it seemed I had no choice. The news had already reached others and it would only be a matter of minutes and she would find out anyway. I wanted to be the one who spoke to her first. I knew I should be the one to explain.

    How impotent and vulnerable I suddenly felt, like a fragment of debris hurtling before the ravages of a violent storm. The vast angry sky above me, unfriendly, rocky mountains curbing me in from the South, a black surging river beyond my line of sight to the North. The road before me had erupted into a steaming muddy hash as raindrops pelted the gravel surface. From my car’s headlights poked a ridiculous attempt at illumination, the beams of light seemingly swallowed up in the deluge. Wave after wave of muddy water slopped down onto the bonnet and over the windscreen as I drove, too numbed to even swerve for obstacles through that dreadful night.

  • Alan, last night I listened to chapter 1 of your audio book, swept with emotion I started listening to the next few chapters. After saying goodnight to [edited], I lay in bed pondering and gleaning over what I had just heard. I am so moved and encouraged by this Christ centered, praise inspiring, and hope giving book. I thank you for this!
    
    Personal Friend

    Joel Quevauvilliers
  • From the depths of agony and loss, Pastor Alan Lester has penned a message of hope and healing to a hurting world. Because he has recently walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with his beloved wife and helped his children do the same, he is now able to speak both personally and practically with a passion born of grief and sorrow. Hurting in Hope: Mom Has Died is a book of ever-deepening faith, which will both bless and challenge you and one you will not soon forget.

    Kathi Macias

    Award-Winning Author of More than 40 Books

    Kathi Macias
  • The book you wrote is terrific. You did such good job in writing it. I found what you wrote to be realistic and very encouraging.

    Dr. Wayne Mack

    A World Leader in the Field of Biblical Counselling

    Dr. Wayne Mack
  • Your telling much of what you experienced in story form made it easy for us to identify with you and learn about how and why a Christian has resources to handle the hardest times in life without going into utter despair .

    Dr. Wayne Mack

    A World Leader in the Field of Biblical Counselling

    Dr. Wayne Mack
  • You honestly shared your emotions and I found what you wrote to be wonderfully God honoring. I really appreciated the way you demonstrated and explained how solid theology helped you and is still helping you through this difficult time.

    Dr. Wayne Mack

    A World Leader in the Field of Biblical Counselling

    Dr. Wayne Mack
  • What you wrote is certainly an example of applied theology. I will, when you get it published, recommend it to others as they face similar circumstances in their lives.

    Dr. Wayne Mack

    A World Leader in the Field of Biblical Counselling

    Dr. Wayne Mack
  • In all likelihood, one day and not too far in the distant future, Carol and I will be called on by our Lord to go through the time of temporary separation from one another (it’s been 58 years now that we have walked together) and that will be painful. But we will be able to turn to your book and be comforted and instructed.

    Dr. Wayne Mack

    A World Leader in the Field of Biblical Counselling

    Dr. Wayne Mack
  • Thank you for writing so beautifully and accurately about your walk with Charleen and the Lord in this book. I will recommend it to others by way of preparation for the day when God calls a loved one home and also to encourage and instruct people about the resources they have when God calls one of their loved ones to eternal glory and leaves them behind.

    Dr. Wayne Mack

    A World Leader in the Field of Biblical Counselling

    Dr. Wayne Mack
  • Alan Lester is a great friend and brother in Christ to me. Hurting in hope is for anyone who has experienced the deep grief of losing a loved one, for anyone that often deals with people who are experiencing grief and for all married people.

    Frank DeWet

    Personal Friend and Church Leader

    Frank DeWet
  • Alan draws you into the life of a man who has learned to enjoy marriage deeply, who has grieved tremendously and who has remained standing in a sure hope. This book moves you to love deliberately, to live intentionally, to think soundly and to grieve hopefully, because it points you to Christ.

    Frank DeWet

    Personal Friend and Church Leader

    Frank DeWet
  • As an apprentice concrete technologist one of my most exciting moments was when I tested samples from my first concrete mix design. What a thrill to put each sample into a huge hydraulic press and watch it sustain the pressure I’d designed it to hold. Without the test all concrete looks very similar. Now after 24 years of designing concrete mixes, I no longer have to test samples to prove to myself that the concrete is good, but I test samples to prove to customers that my ‘concrete doctrine’ works. As I read your book I was taken back to that time. At times it’s hard to distinguish at first glance the men and women God has saved and regenerated. Outwardly and physically they look like any other man or woman in this world, but inwardly they have the mighty strength of God, because God Himself lives in them. God doesn’t need to test them to see whether His handiwork is good or not, He has absolute confidence in His work. God’s power to save, sanctify and keep His people is evident to others when the tests of life press hard on those souls. Alan, I believe the death of a spouse must be a test that takes the ‘hydraulic press’ to its limits as it tests a soul. I wept as I read your book to know with confidence that in your life, the life of my younger brother, the Mighty God has worked a mighty work. This is abundantly evident because of the response of your life to the shocking blow of Charleen’s death. Is there any greater joy than to see evidence of the love of God in the lives of those we love? I have been encouraged with great encouragement, knowing that this same God is at work in me and will accomplish His work, for His glory.

    Kevin Lester

    Alan’s Elder Brother

    Kevin Lester
  • I am so glad God has given us examples of how to honor Him in the most difficult moments. For me, Alan Lester has been one of those. As I have watched him grieve and as I have listened to him pray and as I have heard him sing and as I have seen him continue to live for Christ in the midst of intense pain, I have often wished others would have the opportunity to learn from him as well. I am thankful he’s written this book because I believe it gives a real life glimpse into the way God’s grace can change the way we as Christians live, love, suffer and comfort those in pain.

    Dr. Josh Mack

    Pastor of Living Hope Church, Pretoria, South Africa

    Josh’s Blog

    Dr. Josh Mack
  • Excellent. Should be read by anyone who works with people in a caring capacity e.g. counsellors, pastors, doctors, nurses etc. Also by anyone who has recently suffered a bereavement.

    Amazon (UK) User

    Amazon User
  • This book is remarkable and unusual in that it deals with death, grief and hope, and does so in a courageously personal, open and gripping way. I was deeply moved and encouraged by it. Everyone ought to read it!

    Doug Hearne

    Personal Friend, Retired Teacher and Editor of this Book

    Doug Hearne
  • Thank you for sending “Hurting in Hope” to … Press. Your story is very gripping…

    From a Press’ Rejection Letter

    From a Press’ Rejection Letter
  • Nonetheless, we appreciated your willingness to share your story in a way that neither glosses over your own pain nor God’s goodness.

    From a Press’ Rejection Letter

    From a Press’ Rejection Letter
  • Hurting in Hope is an honest and open look into the experience of the Christians victory in the face of death, offering sympathy and understanding in a time of confusion and pain. It is a worthwhile read for pastors who seek to understand the breaking hearts of those in their congregation who are faced with the passing of a loved one. It is beneficial for those who struggle with bitterness towards God for the loss of a family member and it is a necessary read for every believer who hopes to sincerely comfort others who are faced with death. Hurting with Hope has the realistic and powerful offer of the hope of Christ experienced through the bitterness of the darkest trial that we will all one day face.

    Daniel Warren

    Pastor of Benoni Bible Church

    Daniel Warren
  • “Hurting in Hope” gives us a raw, inspiring look into the life of a man who has been utterly broken by the loss of his precious partner and wife, but not destroyed. As Alan details the account of the sudden passing of Charlene from this life into the next, we see a man whose rock-solid faith in what God has revealed through His Word is undeniably real and true enough to give him the hope and comfort needed to have the courage to persevere and press on amidst unbearable circumstances. Thank you, Alan, for sharing your life with us in a way that encourages and spurs us on to truly know our God and what He has spoken.

    Susan Clark

    Personal Friend and Missionary to South Africa

    Susan Clark
  • Hey Alan, Been listening to your audio book this week on the way to work. Very thought provoking and helps you put things into perspective. We get so caught up in life and unimportant things! Cherish every moment with your loved ones and live in a state of goodbye Thanks for sharing it with us! God bless mate Matt.

    Matthew Hannah

    Personal Friend

    Matthew Hannah
  • Hi Alan, just wanted to let you know that we both listened to your audio book and thought that it is a well written and excellent book and it was really a special touch that you read it yourself. I have given a copy to our pastor to listen to and approve for our church library. I have also given a copy to a lady in our church who lost her husband to cancer at the end of last year so hope she will be encouraged by it. Her husband [edited] was a strong Christian and is in heaven now worshiping at the Father’s throne along with your dear wife Charleen. Thank you for sharing your experience of this deep loss with us.

    Warrick Herd

    Cousin

    Warrick Herd
  • Wow. Just wow. We all deal with grief differently, but this is a masterpiece in terms of finding answers when conventional wisdom offers none. Great work, Alan Lester.

    Mark Lohr

    Friend

    Mark Lohr

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